I’ve never seen summer. I’ve seen spring, along with beautiful green leaves all around an equally beautiful campus. I have seen winter, and snow whitening the land as if to prove a certain point to all foreign-born residents. I’ve seen fall, with leaves brown and restless, flowing with the cooling wind. But summer? No. What on earth is it?
Is it like hell, with an absolutely unbearable temperature which keeps people mostly indoors and all public parks free of visitors? Or is it like the oven? Is it like Kano, the reputed July heat that causes meningitis or just like a milder version of the microwave. Do the leaves shrivel? Do they sway? Are they beautiful or are they grey?
I’m not here to write poetry, so tell me what it looks like. Did I miss anything in my absence from the scene of action? Well I left that place in the middle of May just when the almighty summer was supposed to have begun. If I return there now, what will I find? Fall, no doubt. Summer would have escaped from my grasp once again. What did I miss?
The highest temperature here was around 29 degrees Celcius. That would be like 84 in America. There was this rumour that temperature in America was up to 90 in some places. Oh my, that would be like the temperature in Maiduguri on a regular afternoon. That means that my American friends could actually come and spend their summer in Nigeria. Go figure. Much of this country is actually cooler than 29 during this period. And it rains too. Oh, the rains! I should be glad I’m here.
Alright, I will return to that place, but not until the famed summer is over. Is it, yet? I like Fall. I like brown leaves that remind me of the leaf covers of eko and moin-moin made by old women in Ibadan villages. I like the way they look in photographs too. Who wants a hot summer when they can spend cool raining seasons in Ibadan, Lagos, and all over Nigeria eating spicy food, playing uncle, buying fuel in jerry cans, making day and night calls, killing mosquitos and generally playing he traveller?
And by the way, when I return to the States, let no one ask me how I spent my summer. I did not. You did.